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Madison County Genealogical Society

P.O. Box 631
Edwardsville, IL 62025-0631


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Research Policy

Robert Ridenour
Last Update:
25 June 2016


Unless Otherwise Stated, All Meetings are at 7:00 p.m.,  in the Community Room of the Edwardsville Public Library, 112 South Kansas, Edwardsville, IL.  Visitors Are Always Welcome.

August 11, 2016

The Search for My Brother's Son
by Cheryl Eichar Jett

Cheryl Eichar Jett is the author of six books published by Arcadia Publishing and is a regular contributor to several publications. She is currently working on a book about women on Route 66. Jett has also written award-winning short fiction. Fans can keep up with her travels and projects at her blog,

Cheryl holds undergraduate and master's degrees in history from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Besides research and writing, she devotes her time to Route 66 tourism and to genealogy research on her own family.

When Jett was 14 years old, she discovered that she'd had a much-older half-brother from her father's first marriage. Grant Eichar had also grown up in Illinois, and had been one of the legendary Eagle Squadron pilots flying from England during World War II. Eichar had been killed in action, and had left behind a young son. Jett thought for years about trying to find the son, her nephew. Finally in 2015, she located, contacted, and eventually met her brother's son. This is their story, accompanied by family photos spanning a century.

September 8, 2016

What to Load in Your Covered Wagon
by Lola DeGroff

Lola DeGroff retired from the Department of Defense following more than 20 years of government service. She is the Vice Regent of the Illinois DAR, member of and past Regent of the Silver Creek DAR Chapter, past State President of the Illinois Society US Daughters of 1812, treasurer of the Shawnee Chapter Colonial Dames of the XVII Century, and a member of several other lineage organizations.

Come enjoy her presentation on preparing for the Great Western Migration.

No Programs Scheduled for the Following Dates

October 13, 2016

November 10, 2016

If you have something you would like to see presented or you would like to make a presentation, please contact the president, and we will try to accommodate your wishes.


We have a NEW Mystery Photo. Check it out.

Madison County Recorder Creates Index to Civil War Discharge Papers

The Madison County Recorder's Office in Edwardsville has created an on-line index listing the names of Madison County Civil War soldiers who recorded their discharge papers there following the war.

More than 140 Madison County Civil War veterans had their discharge papers recorded in the Recorder's office after the war so they would have proof of service to receive their pensions.

The discharge papers contain a wealth of information about the veteran, including a physical description, the company, regiment and captain they served under, the term of service, their birthplace, age at discharge, occupation and location of enlistment. Some of the papers also list individual battles the veterans participated in.

The Madison County Recorder's office has recently undertaken preservation and access measures for the documents, including scanning, indexing, and re-housing of the documents into Archival quality protective sleeves.

The Recorder's office was assisted in the indexing project by students of Dr. Erik Alexander, a Civil War professor at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. Dr. Alexander offered extra credit to his students who participated.

The index is currently available online at The documents themselves will also be available online in the future. Copies of the actual documents will be available for a fee.

Anyone who would like a copy or has questions about the documents can contact Casey Weeks at 618-296-4507 or

Stalker Needs Articles

The Stalker is in dire need of articles. We need input from all members.

Send your contributions to Scott Delicate at


Madison County Pioneer Certificate.

If you are a direct descendant of an early (prior to 1880) resident of Madison County and can supply documented proof, you can obtain a certificate stating that fact. You would also be eligible if your ancestor was living before 1812 in the area that became Madison County. (When Madison County was originally formed, it reached to the Canadian border).

The fee for each certificate application is $20.00. One certificate is included in the fee and will be mailed after eligibility has been determined. Application fees are not refundable.

Brothers, sisters, children, or grandchildren of the applicant who wish to apply at the same time as the original applicant also need to fill out an application. Their documentation need only show direct relationship to the original applicant. These additional applications include one designated certificate each. The fee for additional certificates is $10.00 each.

If you are interested in applying for a Madison County Pioneer Certificate, click here. for an application and instructions.

A New Cemetery Web Site

Have you heard? You can now view over 55,000 photos of tombstones from 78 cemeteries in Madison, Macoupin, Jersey, and Greene counties free online! Also included are photos of the Smallpox Island Confederate POW Memorial in West Alton, Missouri, and of cemeteries in Leelanau County, Michigan. For more information, click here.

Archaic Medical Terms

If you are having trouble determining what your relative died from, you might want to consult to see if a definition of the medical terminology is given.

[From the Texas Research Rambler Genealogical Group]

Mystery Photos

We have been asked about some place to post unknown photographs where they can be viewed by others and perhaps the subject(s) can be identified. We have added a "Mystery Photographs" link to the MCGS home page. If you can identify any subject in any photograph, please send an e-mail to the address given with that photograph.

If you have any photographs you would like to have added to the "Mystery Photographs" pages, please send them to me at

Digital Scrapbooking

On October 11, 2012, Lola DeGroff presented a program on Creating a Digital Scrapbook.

Lola had a handout that leads you through the steps of creating a scrapbook page and exporting it as a JPEG. It then leads the user through the steps of uploading the pages and having the scrapbook printed. If you would like a copy of this handout, it can be downloaded or printed here.


Judy Nelson

155 N. Main Street
(618) 296-4470

For additional information contact Judy Nelson 618-296-4932

For Immediate Release


EDWARDSVILLE, July 23, 2012 -Madison County Circuit Clerk Judy Nelson announced the Circuit Clerk's Office has undertaken an extensive initiative to preserve thousands of historic court records through digital imaging.

"Creating digital images of historic records ensures they will be available for research and safe against loss or disaster," Nelson said. "But equally important is that once the digital images are created, they are being published online and available to the public. The records are valuable to historians and genealogists, as well as people just curious about family history."

To read the entire article, click here.

Troy Times-Tribune Looking for Information

On Thursday, May 31, 2012, the Troy Times-Tribune ran an article under the title of Down Memory Lane. This article included a photograph of The Blackjack Band. Only four out nine members of the band were identified. If you know anyone who ever played in The Blackjack Band, perhaps you can help identify the "unknowns." Click here to see the article.

*** NOTICE ***

Dues for 2016 are now being accepted. We would very much appreciate receiving your renewal checks ASAP. Delinquent members (unpaid on 31 January 2016) will receive no more Society publications until their dues are paid.


Do you have a family member that is interested in (or even obsessed with) genealogy? A membership in the Madison County Genealogical Society would be a very thoughtful gift. A gift card will be sent to the recipient of any gift membership.

The following memberships are available:
Individual/Family Annual Membership $20.00
Patron Annual Membership $30.00
Life Membership $250.00

Contact our Secretary, Petie Hunter, at, about a gift membership.

Now Available and Taking Orders

The Ten Year Stalker Index, 1991-2000, is complete; and we are taking orders for either a printed copy, 330 pages, for $45 or a copy on CD for $15. The CD copy is searchable using Adobe Reader.

A new Ten Year Stalker Index, 2001-2010, is complete; and we are taking orders for either a printed copy, 304 pages, for $35 or a copy on CD for $15. The CD copy is searchable using Adobe Reader.

To place an order contact Petie Hunter, at

Visitors are always welcome. 

Goals of the Society

To encourage and educate persons in the study of family history and research methods.
To preserve genealogical and historical record.
To inform people of the importance of collecting, preserving, and circulating genealogical literature.
To promote research, publish, and circulate genealogical records and information

To further these goals, the Society maintains a genealogical library room in the Edwardsville Public Library, holds workshops, invites guest speakers on topics relevant to genealogical research, and publishes genealogical records.


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